Tunnels Beach (Makua)

Tunnels Beach - USA
© Sekar Balasubramanian and licensed for reuse under this Licence

Tunnels beach is set on the north coast of Hawaii’s most northerly main island, Kauai. Originally known as Makua beach, the name Tunnels could be from one of two possible sources; most likely is it comes from the maze passages that wind their way through the big coral reef which sits just offshore. Alternately, it could be from the shape of the waves that make it popular with surfers.

The beach here is a beautiful crescent of pristine golden sand backed by shady ironwood and palm trees behind which dramatic mountains rise. The coral reef here provides shelter for the central section of the beach which is also lifeguarded making it a great family beach.

The snorkelling at Tunnels is world class and should appeal to all levels. Inside the reef is also suitable for all, but more experienced divers will want to explore the outer reef with its steep drop-off and teeming tropical sea-life. Makua reef is regarded as one of the premier dive sites in all Hawaii.

As mentioned, Tunnels is also a well known surf spot with the reef picking up any swell that is going. It is however only suitable for experienced surfers as the waves are powerful and break over the sharp coral. As an added danger, it is Tunnels beach where aspiring professional surfer,  Bethany Hamilton, lost her arm in a tiger shark attack.

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